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A cooperative or co-op is a legal entity, owned and controlled by its members who share decision-making authority, profits and, in some cases, liability for debts. Co-ops normally fall into three types –- consumer co-ops, producer co-ops and worker-owned companies -– and they operate under seven principles:

  1. Voluntary and open membership
  2. Democratic member control
  3. Economic participation by members
  4. Autonomy and independence
  5. Education, training and information
  6. Co-operation among cooperatives
  7. Concern for community[1]

The United Nations has declared 2012 as the "international year of cooperatives."[2][3]

Cooperative Crowdfunding

Cooperative Crowdfunding platform highlighted in this article: CoopFunding - free and cooperative cofinancing

See Also


  1. Austin Co-Ops Thriving as City Grows
  2. United Nations Launches 2012 International Year of Cooperatives General Assembly President Says ‘People-Centred’ Cooperative Movement Critical to Advancing Development Agenda, Promotes Equality, Social Integration
  3. United Nations International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) 2012